The Beatles: Get Back…6-Hour Documentary!

Huge changes have been made in the release of the Let It Be/Get Back movie.  The bad news is we’ll have to wait longer to see it.  The good news is there’ll be nearly three-times the film footage!  Instead of a movie to be shown in August, it’s now a three-part (nearly six-hour) documentary to be released over three nights on Disney+ streaming.  The Beatles: Get Back will be shown November 25th, 26th & 27th, 2021.

October 13th, 2021…Here’s the link to a new trailer for the documentary:

(All photos from Apple Corps LTD)

Director Peter Jackson (famous for the Lord Of The Rings trilogy) has been working with the 56-hours of original Let It Be film footage for nearly three years, and in June, 2021 he released this statement:

In many respects, Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s remarkable footage captured multiple storylines.  The story of friends and individuals.  It is the story of human frailties and of a divine partnership.  It is a detailed account of the creative process, with the crafting of iconic songs under pressure, set amid the social climate of early 1969.  But it’s not nostalgia, it’s raw, honest and human.  Over six hours, you’ll get to know The Beatles with an intimacy that you never thought was possible. 

Jackson says he was mostly able to select different camera shots and angles than were used in the Let It Be movie.  He sees it as a documentary about the making of the original film.  The quality of the film footage has been restored to a new clarity for today’s high-definition viewing.  They’ve also talked about making the original movie available in the higher quality form.

I’m guessing Peter Jackson completed a movie-length version of The Beatles: Get Back before the change was made to a three-part streaming version.  The hope is that six-hours isn’t stretching the film too thin.

In an interview with GQ published in July, 2021, Peter Jackson said…  “There’s probably more conversations with The Beatles than there is actual singing.  That will, I think, surprise people, because it’s very intimate.  And the other thing that will surprise people is how funny the films are.”

For the first time, we’ll see a full 43-minutes of the rooftop concert.  The original movie had about half that.   Unlike a real concert, The Beatles played multiple takes that were later edited together to form more-perfect audio recordings for the album.  It was actually a pubic recording session that was captured on Abbey Road’s studio equipment down below.  Here is a list of the songs in the order they were performed.

Although the recording of the Let It Be album was done in just 21 days, The Beatles were also filmed running through songs that would later appear on Abbey Road and some of their solo albums.

The companion 240-page book was released on October 12th, 2021.  The book features transcribed conversations from the film audio recordings, and many unseen photos by Linda McCartney and Ethan A. Russell.  The list price is $60, but it’s online for $42.  There is a review of the book on this site.

The music for the movie has been remixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell .  Box set anyone?  Update (Aug. 25th):  There is a 5-disc plus Blu-ray box set that was released October 15th.  It’s priced at $139.98.  A matching vinyl set is $199.98, and a 2 CD set with the remixed album, plus selected highlights from the box set, is $24.98.  

Here are the playlists for the CD’s and the vinyl records (click to enlarge and make clearer).  You can see the set has the new remix of Let It Be, plus the original unreleased Get Back album, and sessions & rehearsals.

They’re making us wait, but it sounds like it’ll certainly be worth it.  The in-depth six-hour documentary The Beatles: Get Back will be on Disney+ November 25th, 26th & 27th, 2021.

3 Replies to “The Beatles: Get Back…6-Hour Documentary!”

  1. Now we have to get Disney +

    This will be delicious. I wish our Rock and Soul band members could enjoy it together.

    Thanks Flip. A very rich description. Steve

  2. I’m ambivalent. I’m glad the footage is being restored, and I’m looking forward to seeing it. But if a lot of the supposedly happy moments highlighted in the Jackson film are The Beatles mugging for the camera (like John pretending to write “Across the Universe” on camera, and “Hard Day’s Night” style slapstick) it will be a long 6 hours. Ringo and Paul may be getting sentimental, but John was scathing about the “Get Back/Let it Be” sessions, and I doubt George would be quite so eager to reassess them as fun and friendly.

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